Fear, low self-esteem. It can stop us in our tracks. But Cara, my dear friend, mentor, and personal trainer inspired and taught me to be who I am today. “Just one more quiz on accounting. Would you please calculate the wire transfer and convert it to dollars? You are teaching at bible club.” Cara kept doing all this to make sure I never gave up and always made sure I was good at everything I do.
Most of the time, we keep telling our selves “no” or “I can’t”. We are afraid to do things because of the society we live in or because of what others will think or say about us. All we need to do is stand up and face the world and believe we can do it. The bible says “With God, all things are possible.”
Taking the lives of more than one million people each year, the HIV/AIDS epidemic largely affects us. A number of children and guardians do not know their HIV status due to fear, stigma or cost. At birth, Francis, a sponsored child, contracted the HIV virus that claimed the life of his father and three siblings leaving him with just his mother. Francis looked healthy but little did his mother know that he is also HIV+. The little boy’s life seemed normal until his mother left him under the care of his aging grandmother and remarried in the neighboring village. As time passed, Francis developed fevers so often and gradually lost weight but only got treatment for malaria. His grand mum didn’t know that it was HIV until she was advised to take the little boy for an HIV test and he tested positive. Everything changed for Francis, his friends avoided him, his grandmother stopped paying for his tuition since everyone thought Francis would die at any time and all the school fees would be wasted.
We thank God for CHILDERO that came in and put Francis back to school and encouraged him to live just like any other child. Francis resumed schooling as he took his medication and everything seemed normal again. But when Francis’ cousin, who followed him up to make sure he took his medicine, left home to look for a job in town, Francis stopped taking his medicine as prescribed by the doctors and would at times go without his medicine for two or more days. Francis’ health deteriorated so much that we almost lost him. He was always mocked by other children who kept on calling him “skeleton” just because he had become too skinny. We visited Francis at his home, prayed for him and gave him a few food supplements and also asked his grandmother to take him back to the hospital. A week later, his Anti-retroviral drugs (ARV’S) where changed and his grandmother was put in charge of following up on Francis to make sure he takes his medicine as prescribed. Unfortunately, Francis was diagnosed with hydrocelle, a disease that causes a swelling on the testicle and it requires surgery. Currently, Francis is also receiving medicine to boost his appetite and reduce the pain as the doctors wait for him to gain weight and energy before the operation is done.
I would love to share more with you about the CHILDERO children, my humble request to you all is, please always remember these children in your prayers. Please pray for Francis to have a successful surgery, pray for the children who are about to write their end of year exams. Remember, every prayer and penny counts. Even if all you have is loose change, it’s enough to help raise funds to support the children and families we serve.
May God bless you all.